In the past week, the state of gay marriage in the US wavered again. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that California's Proposition 8 (upheld in 2008) was unconstitutional. Then one day later, Washington voted to approve gay marriage, and the bill will be signed into law very soon. That will hardly be the end of the matter, and the US will certainly witness more back and forth in the days to come, but it could be a step in the right direction.
Following the press statement released by the organisers of Seksualiti Merdeka we posted about, Malaysian activists have brought the case to court. We will have to wait till the Feb 21 hearing to find out how it goes, though.
A short snippet:
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Activists launched a rare legal case Tuesday aimed at fostering gay rights in Malaysia by challenging a police ban on an anti-homophobia arts festival.
The case highlights complaints about discrimination against gays at a time when international rights groups are urging authorities in Muslim-majority Malaysia to abolish laws criminalizing same-sex relations.
The acquittal this week of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on charges of sodomizing a male former aide prompted Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to criticize the Malaysian government for insisting on laws that make sodomy punishable by 20-year prison sentences.
On December 15, a quietly momentous report was issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, titled "Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity".
The report not only documents laws, practices and violence against people for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity, it also correlates international human rights law to these happenings, pointing out rights violations, and provides recommendations that member states can take to redress these violations.
This is the video and transcript of United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech on LGBT rights for Human Rights Day. The Obama Administration is calling for protection of LGBT rights worldwide, including combating violence and abuse, and has committed US$3 million to support international civil rights organisations.